Like fountain sodas, frozen carbonated beverage machines are easy money. Snack bars, convenience stores, and any other pit stop where there are customers in need of quenching their thirst are all perfect venues for these money-making machines. If you’re itching to try out entrepreneurship, you could even take a food cart for a spin with a menu full of frozen beverages.
In business, the key to adding sales tools that add up to quick cash is to look for opportunities that can pay for themselves in as little time as possible. Keep on reading and find out why a frozen carbonated beverage machine fits the bill.
How Does Your Machine Work?
It’s hard to lose money when you’re selling water and carbon dioxide - literally! A dispensed beverage is about 10% syrup, 50% carbon dioxide, and 40% water. It’s a simple, profitable recipe that’s too tasty to pass up!
FBD’s low-maintenance machines are as close to ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ as you can get in food and beverage service. Each machine is designed with minimal parts to make assembly and cleaning as simple as possible. All you need to do is keep the syrup and CO2 full, and you can go months in between maintenance cleanings.
You’ll need a little counter space and some great signage, and these machines can become a great self-service feature.
Best Places to Profit with Your Machine
So, where’s the best place to set up shop with your frozen carbonated beverage machine? The real question is probably, where not? These wildly popular icy thirst-quenchers go over well in restaurants and concessions, convenience stores, sporting events, and more.
For concession stands at sporting events and other community gatherings, a frozen carbonated beverage machine adds a crowd-pleaser that pairs well with salty popcorn and rising temps. And with a wide variety of flavors, you’re sure to find the right addition to your current popcorn and candy lineup.
Frozen carbonated beverages are a special treat that you can’t get at every convenience and grocery store in town. Even though some stores do have them, their flavors can be limited, leaving you with plenty of opportunities to attract the right crowd. With a variety of flavors, frozen carbonated beverages are the perfect treat to beat the summer heat. And while their popularity might be seasonal in colder climates, the spike in business can more than makeup for a few slow months.
Mobile Drink Carts
The slim profile of these machines means they take up the smallest footprint possible. It also makes them fairly portable. If a great business location is out of reach, consider a food truck or mobile food cart that can go where the crowd is. You can spend the summer months touring the area for fairs and festivals with a unique treat.
Quick Foodservice & Catering
If you already have a steady stream of quick-service customers, a seasonal treat can be an easy upsell. Frozen carbonated beverages can be a refreshing way to wash down a meal. The key is to offer interesting flavors that appeal to younger and older audiences.
7 Ways to Make Money with Your Machine
Now that you’ve got some ideas swirling in your head, and you’re considering a frozen carbonated beverage machine as the right move to ramp up your sales this summer, let’s talk about the details. Here is what you should do to make the most of your new product launch and maximize profits.
Drive Foot Traffic
Getting customers in front of your product is no easy task. It takes a lot of marketing-know-how. That said, a good first step is to find your customers and make sure they know where you are with big, bright, attractive signage. Put up oversized product posters in your windows, marketing materials at gas pumps, and in-game announcements for concessions.
Encourage Impulse Purchases
Put the squeeze on by creating urgency with customers. Frozen beverages work best in the warmer months, so push the seasonal or limited time angle to let customers know they may not have another chance to try that new, intriguing flavor.
Expand Your Menu and Add Variety
A single flavor is fine if it’s the right flavor. But don’t forget that everyone has preferences for different things and a single flavor automatically limits your sales potential by excluding those who dislike it. Consider offering two or three different flavors to appeal to a wider audience, but keep in mind there’s a fine line with diminishing returns, so don’t overdo it.
Increase Upsell Opportunities
Make suggestive selling a habit. Before fast food restaurants switched to self-service ordering, it was common practice to be offered a promotional item as an upsell every time you ordered. National foodservice franchises quickly figured out that although many people would say no, sales actually increased when staff remembered to ask.
Create Unique Promotions
Get the buzz going with a promotion. These work because everyone loves a bargain. Shoppers are so keen on getting a good deal that they forget they weren’t planning to buy a beverage in the first place. But please - keep it fresh. The tired 10% off isn’t going to cut it.
Increase Customer Loyalty
If you want to make sure your customers are coming back, consider setting up a loyalty program. Punch cards to earn a free drink after a designated number of purchases are always a good way to go. Shoppers might love free stuff even more than a good bargain. The number of shoppers that will make it to the free drink will be a fraction of the number who make that purchase intending to get the free drink. And for those that do, their loyalty is certainly worth a beverage.
Drive Word of Mouth and Social Media Sharing
Marketing is everything in business. Choosing the right channels to promote your new drinks will help let people know that you’ve added a new product. In a convenience store, this could be as simple as creating brightly colored signage to grab attention or offering an in-store special on new flavors.
We also recommend taking your special offers to social media channels. Let your audience know what’s new, and then get in the habit of snapping pictures with your customers that feature your new beverages and share, share, share.